The Bleeding Placenta Eyes of the Womb
At this point it would be fitting to make this single fact clear: With “Understanding” comes a price. Yes, by having unraveled the threads of logic and reason, the very understanding he’d gained now unwittingly caused him to become a child as to perception. He began looking at life in the raw, through what could only be described as the bleeding placenta eyes of the womb. He was left to grope. In fact, he had to re-teach himself to perform as simple a function as breathing deep his surroundings.
All his life Jorge Onslaught had enveloped himself in a shroud that restricted his ability to feel the world around him. Everything triggered rejection. The sight of naked women caused him shame—a repression of sexuality. A sky, darkened by overcast, portended doom. A large uncontrolled body of water threatened death by drowning. Trees blighted by drought reminded him of the firestorms of holocaust and destruction. The earth poisoned by pesticides and lead, brought anxiety about his health. Why, even the food sold at market teemed with deadly bacteria. A campfire in the woods, or a backyard barbecue served only to remind him of parts per billions of hydrocarbons being spewed into the atmosphere. Everything seemed, in his eyes, to hasten death.
His response to these terrors was to incubate himself, cloister his life in a protective cocoon of fear, so rather than die quickly in the gladness and joy of life, he allowed himself to die slowly, agonized by the fear of his mortality, neurotically holding his breath against the “evils” of a world whose elements, despite his misgivings, have co-existed with humanity since the beginning of time.
So he made a list for himself of all the things he wished to accomplish with his new-found consciousness.
First, what he wanted was continuity. He had already made many drastic changes in his life. His trip to Americas. His Professorship. Now he had to make another, and this one would certainly be traumatic, for it entailed his separation from the world he knew. His relatives, his colleagues. But would the end be justified? Only time would tell.
But more than anything else, he needed to find personal freedom—the freedom to act and think as a man, and not as a child. To become what he wanted to become, and not what others would allow. For he knew now that freedom is something tasted, not with the mouth, but with the breath—one doesn’t speak of freedom, one inhales it.
He saw a vision of life that made absolute sense, though he was once blinded to it by the fears of convention. He found he was able to look into things simply, and reject any ideas colored by former inhibitions. To him it seemed people didn’t really understand the things they believed in, even though they were willing to die for those beliefs. He felt life had been a prison from which he finally found a release.